Short Takes: Green Power, Podiuming and Blossoming

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The conservation group Greenpeace has criticized Facebook for using coal-derived power at its planned Prineville data center instead of more Earth-friendly alternatives. This week The Bulletin fired back with a defense of Facebook, noting that Greenpeace’s power isn’t 100% green either.

“Pacific Gas and Electric Co., which provides energy to San Francisco, including Greenpeace’s office, gets the largest amount of its energy from natural gas, another nonrenewable resource,” said a story on the front page of Thursday’s Business section.

I guess it’s fair to point out that Greenpeace doesn’t always completely practice what it preaches, but comparing its power use to Facebook’s is quite a stretch. I’ve seen the Greenpeace HQ in San Francisco, and I doubt it uses as much power in a year as Facebook’s mammoth server farm will consume in a day.

On Friday, The Bulletin followed up its story with an editorial headlined: “Greenpeace red in the Facebook.” Cute headline, but if anybody should be red-faced over this story it’s The Bulletin.

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I hope this won’t become permanent: While watching the Winter Olympics, I heard some commentators using the word “podium” as a verb, e.g., “He’s expected to podium in this event” – meaning he is expected to stand on the podium after winning a gold, silver or bronze medal.

What would the past tense of the verb “to podium” be? “Podiumed”? What would the present participle be? “Podiuming”? Try wrapping your tongue around that one.

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Karl “Turdblossom” Rove will be coming to The Riverhouse in Bend on April 16 to speak at a $50-a-plate fundraising dinner for something called “Oregon REAGAN PAC.” Tim Knopp, chairman of Oregon REAGAN PAC, said the event would be “a tribute gala to President Ronald Reagan.”

It’s understandable that Republicans want people to remember Reagan (their last more-or-less successful president) and forget the two Bushes – especially the second one – so I have to wonder why Knopp wanted to bring in Rove instead of somebody from the Reagan administration.

More than any other individual, Karl Rove was responsible for putting The Worst President in History™ into the White House. He took George W. Bush, a blueblood New England preppie educated at Andover and Yale, and remade him into an ersatz cowboy – even arranging for him to buy the “ranch” in Crawford that provided the setting for so many rugged, manly photo ops. (The transformation of The Shrub into a faux Reagan could go only so far, though: While Reagan was an expert horseman, Bush was afraid to get on a horse.)

Rove also was the principal architect of the divisive “if-you-don’t-support-Bush-you-hate-America” political strategy the administration followed through its two terms. In gratitude for his services, Bush gave Rove the endearing nickname of “Turdblossom.”

I guess Knopp is counting on people to have amnesia about the decade between 1999 and 2009.


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